De facto Visa Application

A person  be eligible to apply for an onshore (subclass 820)  or offshore (subclass 309) Partner Visa if they are in a de facto relationship.

The onshore partner visa applied for under Subclasses 820 and 801 allows the applicant to live in Australia on the basis of the genuinity of the relationship.

The Temporary Partner Visa ( subclass 820 ) acts as a bridging visa and allows the visa holder to stay in Australia until a decision is made regarding the Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801).  The entitlements under this visa includes unlimited work rights and eligibility to study. However, there is no access to Medicare and government funding for tertiary education. In addition, there is a waiting period of approximately 2 years from the date of application on this visa before a decision is made on the application. The Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801)  application can be made after the initial 2 year wait period is over and if you are still in a continuing relationship with your partner.


Eligibility requirements for De Facto Visa are as follows:

  1. You and your partner must have been in a de facto relationship for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before making the application.
  2. You must have been living together for at least 12 months immediately before the application.
  3. You must be sponsored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Usually this person will be of or over the age of 18.
  4. You and your partner must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a shared life as partners in a genuine relationship.


It is important to consider that the 12 month requirement can only be waived if there is a compelling and compassionate circumstance involved or if the de facto relationship is registered in Australia.

Offshore De Facto Visa Applications

Offshore partner visa application can be made  under subclass 309 and subclass 100 using the same eligibility criteria stated under the onshore Partner Visa.The Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 309) allows the visa holder entry into Australia and subsequently allows him/her  to stay until a decision is made on their Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100).

Read more about De Facto Visa Tips for Refusal

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